• Jeanne Hatton

Finding Your Way through the Fog

Updated: Nov 20, 2020

The current crisis and Lockdown has changed all our lives. One of the biggest changes and challenges is in our working life. People will always find a way to communicate and technology such as Microsoft Teams and Zoom are clear winners. The march into Cloud based software has become more of a stampede.

Microsoft said last month that Teams usage had grown to 44 million daily active users during the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s now jumped another 70 percent to 75 million users.

Zoom’s daily active users jumped from 10 million to over 200 million in 3 months.

Which is best? Well, it's not for me to say, I can only tell you what I use, which I do further on in this article.

I've been spending a lot of time helping people to come to grips with these technologies. I count myself lucky that I have been using these, or similar technologies for decades. However, to those new to these tools, it can be a bit like finding your way through the fog. The simplest instruction such as "Click on the link in your email can be fraught with difficulties. Is your internet strong and working and do you have your email available? Can you find the email? Was the link in a WhatsApp group or in an email or a text message? Do you have several emails and are not sure which one to use? Do you need an app installed? What if there is a password needed? How can you see everyone rather than just the active speaker?

And this is before we even try to understand the etiquette of working in group online meetings.

I do a lot of online training. Frequently the first 15 minutes is making sure everyone is comfortable and feels able to contribute. Some people just like to listen and some are a bit shy so perhaps don't say very much. As a trainer, you have to be aware that, just as in a class, there are different types of learning styles. I try to be as informal, helpful and patient as possible.

So what do I use for online meetings and training?

Zoom for friends and family meetings, quizzes and fun meetings, as I like to see everyone's faces and someone always sets up the meeting so I only have to join. I can join through a web link which is easy.

Microsoft Teams for any work or business related online meetings. Since I teach people to use Microsoft 365 and SharePoint, I find Teams is really helpful as it provides a front end to all my content that is held in Microsoft 365.

I can preload any presentations and documents I need to refer to and have conversations that extend beyond the meeting. It's not necessary for my external contacts to have a login to Teams as they can join using their internet browser.

A lot of people have discovered they have crossed new boundaries in communication and technology and have found it rewarding. Many have confided that their productivity has greatly improved.

Can we help you find your way through the fog? We're happy to help.

We are based at

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Merseyside CH44 5TN

Tel: 0151 691 4923